France Summer Service Program
Learn French while living with local families on this high school travel program!
Want more than just a standard France teen travel program? Oui, this French adventure has it all! Meet local teens, experience homestays with French families, and earn community service credit on an all-encompassing language immersion program. From the grandeur of the Palais de Versailles to the rugged and majestic French Alps, the rich history of the Medieval City of Carcassonne, and the sparkling lights of the Eiffel Tower, your journey introduces you to some of France’s most iconic sites and stories. Delve deeper into the culture by volunteering on historical restoration service projects, running activities for children at a day camp, and hiking shepherd’s trails through the Alps. A truly immersive summer service program in France!
After arriving in Paris, we board a private bus and travel to the town of Versailles, just outside of Paris. Here, we stay in cozy group lodging within walking distance of the famous royal gardens and palace. This is the perfect location for us to get to know each other, establish both personal and group goals, and begin the Global Works Leadership curriculum, specifically designed for this program. We also refresh our French conversational skills with language activities taught by the bi-lingual trip leaders. Then, it’s time to explore the architectural wonders of the Sun King at le Château de Versailles!
On Day 3, we travel by high-speed train towards Grenoble and the majestic French Alps. We stay in a small village far from the tourist crowds where down-to-earth, open-hearted people make for a warm reception! The towering scenery is breathtaking and adventure awaits us. We focus on cultural exchange and community service by working alongside community members on environmental and historical restoration initiatives. Our service includes environmental projects, such as trail maintenance in the nearby national park and repairing historic stone walls. But that’s not all! An exciting whitewater rafting trip brings us to a swimming spot in a waterfall. We also take an overnight hike up to a gîte, or mountain lodge, that provides traditional French meals and hospitality. We spend the night in the mountains before hiking back down to our base in the village to celebrate Bastille Day and watch the fireworks.
From the Alps, we are off to Carcassonne, our homestay town near the Mediterranean! The eight-day homestay is a great opportunity to test language skills, make friends, and absorb the many cultural differences found in day-to-day living and conversation. During the weekdays, we meet as a group to work on our community development and education projects. We volunteer at a youth summer camp and teach English to elementary students. In nearby towns, our students work to restore historical sites important to the regional heritage, such as an 11th-century chateau, a canal’s irrigation system, or a medieval lookout tower. Excursions to the beach, through the fortress of Carcassonne, and into an underground cavern round out this memorable homestay. Check out The Homestay Experience for more information on how we select our homestay communities and families!
A visit to France would never be complete without time spent in beautiful Paris. We kick off our visit with a cruise along the Seine River to view the Paris monuments lit against the night sky. During the days there is so much to see and do: la Tour Eiffel, Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, Montmartre, le Louvre, and Musée d’Orsay… the list goes on and on! We muster enough energy to have a final dinner celebration, during which we recollect how our time with Global Works gave us a unique and fulfilling glimpse of French culture.
The Global Works chaperoned Group Flight departs from New York (JFK) for this program. Airfare is not included in the tuition. Please contact us for the latest airfare pricing or visit our Flight & Travel Arrangements page for more information about travel days.
Community Service Projects
Adventure & Cultural Activities
Our lodging in Versailles is a converted monastery, now perfect for groups like Global Works. Participants say in rooms of 2-6 students. This beautiful hotel is on the edge of the Versailles gardens and has ample room for group games and meetings.
Our “gite,” or mountain lodge, is in the small town of Mizoen. Lodging is in bunk-bed rooms of 4-6 students. Locally owned, our hosts prepare and serve all our meals on the umbrella lined patio overlooking views of the Alps. The group also spends 2 nights in a rustic mountain hut or “refuge” nestled in a valley up in the mountains. The hut is a full day’s hike from our home base in Mizoen.
Homestays are in the medieval town of Carcassonne in the South of France. The majority of our homestay families have hosted Global Works students in the past and all are committed to providing a caring, secure environment for our participants. Participants eat meals, sleep, and spend weekends with their homestay families. Most weekday mornings, afternoons, and evenings, the groups come together to work on projects and engage in organized activities with fellow Global Works participants and members of the community. Students will have a private room within the home and the room is shared between two Global Works students.
Situated in the very heart of the Marais district –and within walking distance to Ile Saint-Louis, Notre Dame, the Louvre Museum, and other Paris sights– it’s hard to beat the location of our hostel! The group stays at one of La MIJE locations, each in remodeled 17th-century buildings within a 3 block radius. Accommodations are simple, yet comfortable. Global Works students stay in private rooms.